XML-Data: advantages over DTD syntax? (and some wishes)

Paul Prescod papresco at technologist.com
Sat Oct 4 01:42:56 BST 1997

Liam Quin wrote:
> Charles said that different sorts of information should have different
> syntaxes, but in the document a chapter title has the same syntax as an
> author's name, a date, an image... and these things may all have different
> consumers.

First, SGML has features that allow a document to define a different
syntax. Second, it allows a subsection of a document to use a different
syntax. So the SGML standard recognizes that variant syntaxes are
important and useful and tries to help. Unfortunately, these features
are not powerful enough to represent the full DTD syntax. That does not
mean that the principle of choosing the best syntax for the information
should be abandoned. Nobody seems to advocate that XSL should require
JavaScript code to be encoded as SGML elements or that DSSSL should do
the same with expression language code.
> If neither syntax is ideal, having only one of them is a definite advantage.

We live in an imperfect world. I have never used a language with an
ideal syntax. Perhaps binary....

The relevant question is *which syntax is better*? I think that from a
reader's and writer's point of view, the current DTD syntax is better.
It is more readable and compact. From a *programmers* point of view, the
new syntax is better because it allows you to reduce the number of
parsers in your system.

 Paul Prescod

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at ic.ac.uk)

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list